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Is my child ready for school?

Posted by on in Parent Tips
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No...... well not yet. As parents we all want our children in school in a mainstream class learning alongside their peers. While this is the ultimate goal there are many steps that are necessary to reach this goal.

If your child is receiving ABA therapy in a one on one setting then your child is receiving intensive services that are helping build those foundation skills necessary for the next step.

The Right Environment

is-my-child-ready-for-schoolIn an intensive treatment environment reinforcement is the driving force that guides therapy. Children are flooded with attention and positive reinforcement that facilitate learning. It is a controlled environment that is engineered to allow the child to maximize learning. In a school environment many new factors need to be considered. How many students will be in the classroom? What is the student to teacher ratio? Can my child learn in a group setting with shared attention? Can they wait for reinforcement to occur? Can they generalize skills learned? Can they tolerate a myriad of environmental factors? Can my child transition from class to class independently? Can they tolerate being told to wait? Can they handle challenging situations without engaging in aberrant behaviors? This is merely touching the surface of all the factors that need to be considered.

The Right Plan

A good ABA clinic will help your child, when they are ready, to transition. A plan needs to be outlined that will explain how these steps will be reached so that the child will function and be successful. If a child is pulled out of intensive ABA therapy too fast, then that child will not have the best chance at integrating into the school environment. We want to prepare our children so they will not experience failure. A leaner reinforcement schedule will need to be implemented to match what is available in a classroom. Instruction will need to be modified to group learning. Ideally, the child will be able to transition with a shadow to help support the move. Our goal, essentially is for your child to not need us there, but to reach this, we need to support them through the entire journey.

© Copyright 2013 by The Shape of Behavior | All Rights Reserved
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  • Guest
    Leigh Ann Wheat, BCBA Friday, 25 October 2013

    A successful transition to a traditional educational environment from intensive ABA treatment is not a stroke of luck but takes an incredible amount of planning and collaboration between the current and receiving setting. I encourage parents to always have a 1 year, 5 year and beyond goal and to seek information. Visit schools, talk to professionals and find out as much as you can so you can make an informed decision about your child's placement. Successful transitions can take time and effort to orchestrate as there are many variables to consider. If you want your child to start school in Fall 2014 NOW is the time to start planning!

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